La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Northern Region
Population: 15,383
Elevation: 269 m/883 ft

Capital City of Country
Gateway to Country

La Fortuna, Costa Rica Vacation Guide

La Fortuna is a small town situated in San Carlos in the Alajuela province of Costa Rica. Just a few minutes away from this lively town stands Costa Rica's most active volcano: the majestic Arenal! The Arenal Volcano is a regularly spewing smoke and ashes. At the base of this awesome conic-shaped volcano, travelers will find the Arenal Lake which is the second largest man made lake in Central America. La Fortuna connects all this area with the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.

This area offers a lot of attractions and activities that convines nature and adventure.

Visitors of La Fortuna can enjoy the panoramic view of the Arenal Volcano, relax in the thermal waters, hike along the trail that will take you around the mountains, rent a bike or visit the restaurants, souvenir stores and hotels that La Fortuna offers. This town also has other great attractions like the La Catarata de la Fortuna, a beautiful waterfall that falls from a height of 229 feet (70 meters), and stunning lush forest, rare orchids, animal watching and some water sports on Lake Arenal.

Attractions and Activities

Arenal Volcano National Park
The Arenal Conservation Area (Costa Rica National Park) stretches 200,000 hectares along the northern spine of Costa Rica. Walk on the short trails through some young secondary forests and old lava from previous eruptions of the Volcano. These walks are always guided by Rangers so you don’t have to worry about safety. The perfect cone is visible from most anywhere in the area, but if you want a good view of an eruption, your best bet is to overnight in one of the "observatory" type lodges, and stay up late or get up very early.

The Arenal Lake
Enjoy the view of the second largest man made lake in Central America, which is a hydroelectric project that now produces 70% of Costa Rica's electricity. This place has a unique combination of warm fresh water, strong winds and panoramic views and is excellent for windsurfing and lake fishing.

Enjoy the sports and activities offered all year round on the lake, like windsurfing, fishing, boat tours, boat shortcut to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, kayaking, horseback riding and mountain biking along the shore

La Fortuna Waterfall
Walking, taking a taxi or riding a horse are some ways to get to this refreshing waterfall located just 5 km southwest from the center of the town. This 229 feet (70 meters) waterfall is an ideal destiny for nature lovers where travelers can swim on warm days during the dry season.

Canopy Tours and hanging bridges
Experience the adrenaline rush on the canopy tour on the slopes of the Arenal Volcano, walk in the tree-tops on the hanging bridges or just sit, relax and enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding forest on the aerial tram.

Bungee Jumping
For the adrenaline lovers, La Fortuna offers a different level of adventure - Bungee Jumping. With a 40 meter tower, this place offers water immersion after the fall, a catapult that boost people from the ground toward the sky to enjoy several rebounds that are equal to be bungee pulled several times, and makes people reach up to 100 kilometers per hour!

Hot springs
Among the main attractions of La Fortuna are the natural volcanic hot springs. Get yourself into these relaxing mineral baths surrounded by beautiful nature and warm small waterfalls.

Walking around
In the town, travellers will find a wide variety of restaurants, hotels with panoramic views, excellent transportation service, coffee houses, souvenir shops, clothing stores and bars. On weekends, the night-life in La Fortuna gets very exciting in some of the local bars.

Location and Map

By bus

From San Jose take the bus on the “Atlantico Norte” bus terminal (7 avenue, 12 street). There are 3 direct buses per day; at 6:15 am, 8:40 am and 11:30 am.

By car

From San Jose, drive on the Inter American Highway in direction of San Ramon where you will see a big intersection with a Shopping Mall in the corner (incl. Steakhouse, etc.). Turn right and go straight through San Ramon. At the end of the road, make a left turn & a quick right turn and follow the Arenal volcano and Tabacon Resort sign. You will pass the San Lorenzo Cloud forest, La Tigra, and Chachagua before reaching La Fortuna.


There are short local flights from San Jose and Liberia to Arenal/La Fortuna. Nature Air offers comfortable flights to this and many other tourist destinations in Costa Rica.

Shuttle Service

Interbus provides an efficient and economic shuttle service from the Central Valley and other Costa Rican destinations to Arenal/La Fortuna. A reservation is needed 72-hour in advance!

Contact our La Fortuna, Costa Rica Vacation Guides today by visiting our Costa Rica Trip Planner!

La Fortuna Hotels

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